As part of a major FAA telecom contract, our client supplied a conferencing bridge for an operations hub in Washington DC, used for critical communication in situations involving federal VIPs. It quickly became apparent that the bridge's software, which was designed for commercial conference-call providers, was not going to be suitable for the duty officers responsible for connecting the parties on the bridge. The calls on the bridge were real-time and required on-the-fly management, including mass call-in and dialout of calls in conferences. The centerpiece of the communication system is a single conference room that remains perpetually open and dialed into by over 100 participants, which are all allowed to talk on the line. The existing software ran on the desktop in Java and only allowed management of a single conference at once, making it difficult to maintain realtime operation and feedback.
Parthenon developed a new general-purpose version of the existing software that could be run in server environments and would communicate with the MX bridge using its proprietary MODAPI protocol (which was undocumented, and reverse engineered by Parthenon).
The software communicated with clients using a network-based JSON API and allowed communication with multiple bridges at once (a requirement for the project). We also developed a middleware using non-blocking network libraries and a web-based front end using Web Sockets, which received real-time events from the bridge and allowed commands to be sent in large batches, also in real time. The MODAPI server also provided a number of other features that are not available in the stock Avaya system, but were implemented in software based on features that were available in the stock bridge functionality. The front end was custom-designed to fit into the duty officer workflow in as frictionless a manner as possible.
The software was rolled out to multiple operations centers in 2013 and continues to be maintained by us as a critical component of the site infrastructure. In recent years, Parthenon has also added conference scheduling and self-moderation functionality to the product for non-emergency requests, allowing global conferences to be operated across multiple bridges from a single interface, as well as batched MP3 encoding and notification of conference recordings.